We highly recommend putting in some miles on your bike before the beginning of the ride. While enviable, you should not try to be like one regular and athletically gifted, rider who always claims her first day of the ride is also her first day of training.
The bottom line is that there is no substitute getting out there and riding, hour after hour. Cross-training with running, walking, hiking, and even mountain biking all help to strengthen your legs and build endurance.
Most training regimens encourage working up to the ultimate distance you will be riding. Thus, since the Peak to Peak Pedal averages about 67 miles a day with the longest day being about 85 miles, you should consider completing a progression of rides 10, 25, 40, 55, 70, and 85 miles in length by the time the ride begins. In addition, it is beneficial to do a ride or two at altitude, as well as some rides with some substantial climbing. Perhaps more important than the number of miles ridden is the number of hours spent on your bicycle seat; rider’s backsides generally suffer more than their legs! You need to be prepared and able to sit on your bicycle saddle for anywhere from six to eight (or more) hours a day.
As with many long-distance rides, the Peak to Peak Pedal has flat and downhill sections, and may even have days with tailwinds. Of course, as noted, there can be headwinds and heat, and there will be plenty of climbing, so anytime your training involves those conditions you will be ahead of the game.
Learning to ride in a pace-line is also recommended, although this is a more advanced skill requiring numerous safety considerations. The USARC will share information regarding any rides hosted by potential participants in Big Bear or at locations “down the hill”. Training rides also provide an opportunity to meet and be mentored by (or mentor) other riders, new and experienced.